Super 8: Council of Presidential Advisers (Or why Mr Tan Kin Lian's idea of President's personal council starts appealing to me...)

The Council of Presidential Advisers: (from left) Mr Stephen Lee; Mr Bobby Chin; Mr Yong Pung How; Mr S Dhanabalan; Mr J Y Pillay; Mr Po'ad Bin Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar; Mr Goh Joon Seng; and Mr Lim Chee Oon.


I came across this Istana website on Council of Presidential Advisers in my attempt to learn more about the so-called Council of Presidential Advisers (especially after the President candidate Mr Tan Kin Lian himself pointed out in his comment in this post of mine, "Tan Kin Lian President's Personal Council: 3 Reasons I'm Against It..." that the President's personal council is different from the Council of Presidential Advisers set out in the Consitution, with their defined duties.

So what have I learnt beside the no of people this Council of Presidential Advisers consist of? (There are 8 of them inclusive of two alternate members--thus, the title of this post which is inspired by the mystery movie, Super 8)

Allow me to digress a bit: this movie, Super 8 is written & directed by the co-creator of the legendary TV series LOST!! Ergo, this movie is without doubt a must-watch for me. Heh.

Okay, back to the Singapore Super 8 namely the Council of Presidential Advisers. Quoted from the Istana website:


The Constitution of Singapore was amended in 1991 to give the Elected President custodial and discretionary powers to safeguard the reserves of the Government which were not accumulated by the Government during its current term of office. The Constitutional amendments, which came into effect on 30 November 1991, also provided for a Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) to advise the President in the exercise of his custodial and discretionary powers. It is obligatory for the President to consult the Council before he vetoes the budgets of the Government and key government-linked bodies and the appointments of government nominees to key posts.

The Council comprises six members and two alternate members. Two members are appointed by the President at his discretion, two are the Prime Minister's nominees, one is the Chief Justice's nominee and one is the nominee of the Chairman of the Public Service Commission. One alternate member is appointed by the President at his discretion while the other is appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Chief Justice and Chairman of Public Service Commission.

Members are appointed on a six-year term on their first appointment. They are eligible for re-appointment for further terms of four years each. Alternate members are appointed on a four-year term.

The present Chairman of the CPA is Mr J Y Pillay. The other members are Mr S Dhanabalan, Mr Po’ad Bin Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar, Mr Yong Pung How, Mr Goh Joon Seng and Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong. The two alternate members are Mr Lim Chee Onn and Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen.

As Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, Mr Pillay exercises the functions of the office of the President in the absence of the President. If he is unavailable, this duty then falls on the Speaker of Parliament.


Right. I have to admit then that Mr Tan's idea of the President's personal council differs to the existing, constitutional Council of Presidential Advisers.

Right. I have to agree that the idea is starting to sound more appealing especially as Mr Tan has verified that the president's personal council will be funded from the president's personal salary and not from taxpayer's money.

Wrong. I still disagree with you about the losers in the Presidential Race to serve on the Council (whether it's the Council of Presidential Advisers or the President's personal council). I'll adamantly insist that this is akin to a consolation prize for the loser(s).

Screenshot of Mr Tan's comment/clarification


2 Rights out of 3. Well done, Mr Tan Kin Lian!

I'm sure there will be more and more netizens to 'like' the Facebook, Tan Kin Lian for President.

You're a truly worthy Presidential candidate who have done an amazing job to reach the people well with your original idea. Although some of us may point out the idea will need some fine-tuning, hey, it's a commendable start.

So would you like to consider me as one of your advisers, Mr Tan?

Pro bono publico. Free of charge! You don't have to pay me a single cent. (Sceptical readers, feel free to screenshot this statement. Hur hur.)

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